Boston at New York

Scoreboard
Boston (91-64)101000000280
N.Y. Yankees (100-56) «00100201x4101

Yankees wrap up AL East, home field throughout by sweeping BoSox

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- Soaked to the skin with champagne, Mark Teixeira stood on the giant "NY" logo in the Yankees clubhouse and shouted like crazy.

"Tastes good!" he hollered.

Favored to win the World Series since opening day, the New York Yankees celebrated like playoff newcomers after beating Boston 4-2 Sunday to clinch the AL East title and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

Absent from the playoffs last season, the Yankees put a bow on this title with their major league-leading 100th win.

More Yankees links

Playoff Race

Knobler's Look Ahead: Just a step

"Everything is clicking right now," winning pitcher Andy Pettitte said. "When you miss out, it makes you a little more hungry to get back there."

Maybe that's why Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and a roomful of All-Star multimillionaires went wild, chanting and jumping and spraying each other with bubbly. Teixeira and many others wore goggles to stave off the sting -- of victory, that is.

"I think the way last year ended left a bad taste in all our mouths," manager Joe Girardi said. "There's a lot of excitement. This has been a fun group, and they enjoy it."

Hideki Matsui's go-ahead single in the sixth inning energized the damp fans and put them on notice that a party was coming. The first real bash at the new Yankee Stadium began with a most familiar scene -- Rivera on the mound, closing out another clincher.

Catcher Jose Molina leaped up from behind the plate even before Rivera had fielded Jacoby Ellsbury's soft comebacker for the final out. The Yankees swarmed Rivera on the first-base side of the mound while players in the bullpen streamed in.

Nick Swisher wasted no time putting on an AL East Champions hat. The crowd responded with a standing ovation as the Yankees began walking off the field, with Jeter at the front and several teammates pulling on gray championship T-shirts.

"Winning a championship is what I came here for," pitcher CC Sabathia said. "It definitely feels good -- first one in pinstripes, first one in the new stadium, first celebration."

The three-game sweep extended the Yankees' winning streak to five. They finished 9-9 against Boston this year, surprising since New York lost the first eight matchups.

"We're going to see them again down the road, we have a feeling," slugger Alex Rodriguez said.

Despite the defeat, the Red Sox remain in firm control of the wild-card race. Their magic number is two to beat out Texas for the final playoff spot.

"Hope we win tomorrow," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "That's normally what we do. Play. If you win, move on. If you lose, learn and move on. That's what our next chore will be."

Still to be determined is who New York will meet in the best-of-5 opening round, and when. The Yankees will most likely face the AL Central winner, either Detroit or Minnesota.

Once all the playoff teams are determined, the Yankees will get one hour to decide which playoff schedule they prefer. They can choose to start on either Oct. 7 or Oct. 8; the earlier start date includes a day off between the first two games.

Boosted by newcomers such as Teixeira, Sabathia and Swisher, the Yankees won their first division title since 2006. They drenched the high-tech clubhouse, with plastic sheets preventing the computer screens at every stall from getting doused.

All alone in first place since July 21, the Yankees can now spend the final week resting players and setting up the playoff rotation.

"I like this team here," Jeter said.

Pettitte (14-7) outpitched Paul Byrd (1-3), and Rivera finished for his 44th save in 46 chances.

Boston put two runners on base in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Victor Martinez's 25-game hitting streak ended when his grounder was ruled an error on second baseman Robinson Cano.

"Hard work, determination and a bunch of great attitudes, when you put that all together you accomplish a lot of things," Rivera said.

After a 63-minute rain delay at the outset, the Yankees beat Boston for the seventh straight time at home.

Matsui met Red Sox reliever Takashi Saito with a two-out, two-run single in the sixth barely in front of right fielder J.D. Drew's dive. Teixeira's solo homer in the eighth provided insurance.

"This team is so talented, this team has so many weapons," Teixeira said. "Hopefully, there are a few more celebrations."

Cautioned catcher Jorge Posada: "Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Right now we're very happy with what we've done. Maybe we can do a little more later."

Notes

  • Cano singled for his 200th hit this year. He joined Jeter as the only second base-shortstop teammate tandem to reach the mark in the same season, the Elias Sports Bureau said.
  • The Yankees won their 16th division title since 1969, matching Atlanta's mark.
  • Posada sat out again because of muscle spasms near his neck. He's feeling better.
  • Boston LHP Jon Lester, hit near the right knee by a line drive Friday night, continued to improve. He might skip a throwing session this week, but remains on schedule for his next start.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
After missing the playoffs last season, the Yankees soak in their AL East championship with extra glee.  (AP)
After missing the playoffs last season, the Yankees soak in their AL East championship with extra glee. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

M. Teixeira
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Boston

J. Bay
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 

Related Video

December 23, 2014
Jim Rome: Dez Bryant's contract (3:09)
December 23, 2014
Hammerin' Hank's picks: Week 17
(6:54)
December 23, 2014
Bengals at Steelers Preview
(2:47)
December 23, 2014
Raiders at Broncos Preview
(2:57)
Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF5010012 .299
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4000001 .295
Jason Bay, LF4220000 .267
Kevin Youkilis, 1B3010110 .303
David Ortiz, DH2000210 .235
Mike Lowell, 3B4011000 .290
J.D. Drew, RF4020014 .271
Jason Varitek, C3010011 .209
   a- Victor Martinez, PH1000000 .301
    Brian Anderson, PR0000000 .235
Alex Gonzalez, SS3000011 .237
   b- Casey Kotchman, PH1000000 .272
Totals3428136  
a-grounded out for Varitek in the 9th
b-grounded out for A. Gonzalez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jason Bay (28, Pettitte)
RBI - Mike Lowell (75)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Lowell (40)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jacoby Ellsbury 1
DP - Ellsbury-Byrd-Pedroia
Boston Red Sox
Paul Byrd (L,1-3) 5.2733011 5.81
Takashi Saito (BS,2) 0.1100100 2.35
Ramon Ramirez 1100000 2.97
Daniel Bard 1111001 3.80
WP - Takashi Saito (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 90-65, Takashi Saito 18-11, Ramon Ramirez 17-10, Daniel Bard 19-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 8-6, Daniel Bard 1-2
Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 22, Takashi Saito 3, Ramon Ramirez 4, Daniel Bard 4
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS4020000 .333
Brett Gardner, CF3000001 .276
Mark Teixeira, 1B4221001 .294
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4110011 .285
Hideki Matsui, DH4012000 .280
Nick Swisher, RF3010100 .250
Robinson Cano, 2B3010002 .321
Melky Cabrera, LF3121000 .273
Jose Molina, C3000001 .211
Totals31410411  
Batting
2B - Nick Swisher (34, Byrd)
HR - Mark Teixeira (38, Bard), Melky Cabrera (13, Byrd)
SH - Brett Gardner (6)
RBI - Mark Teixeira (120), Hideki Matsui 2 (90), Melky Cabrera (67)
2-OUT RBI - Hideki Matsui 2 (32)
CS - Robinson Cano (7, 2nd base by Byrd/Varitek)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Rodriguez-Cano-Teixeira, Jeter-Cano-Teixeira
E - Robinson Cano (12, Misplayed grounder)
New York Yankees
Andy Pettitte (W,14-7) 6722340 4.11
Brian Bruney (H,14) 1.2000010 4.17
Phil Coke (H,21) 0.1000010 4.68
Mariano Rivera (S,44) 1100000 1.82
WP - Andy Pettitte (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 94-60, Brian Bruney 21-14, Phil Coke 5-3, Mariano Rivera 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 5-7, Brian Bruney 2-2, Mariano Rivera 3-1
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 26, Brian Bruney 5, Phil Coke 1, Mariano Rivera 5
Game Information
Attendance - 47576
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg